Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and some plant oils have been studied for quite some time. And all the literature points to it having amazing benefits on health. But can omega-3’s cure diabetes? Well the research has shown that omega-3’s can improve diabetes and reduce or prevent obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for and is related to Type 2 Diabetes.
Of the physicians that I have spoken to about Omega-3 fatty acids, some have mentioned that they have prescribed brand name prescription medicines in the form of omega-3 to treat other medical conditions, but not yet for diabetes. Much of the medical community seems to have not caught on to this yet for diabetes as they aren’t trained in natural medicine in medical school.
Omega-3’s are the only fat that may actually promote weight loss, since they cause the body to burn calories. Plus, people who eat foods high in Omega-3s or take supplements often have less cravings for fatty foods.
Omega-3 And Diabetes
Omega-3’s fight diabetes by making the insulin receptors on the the cells in your body more responsive. A major defect in Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, which generally means the cells in the body of a person with type 2 are insulin resistant and don’t respond to insulin properly.
In type 2 diabetes, since the insulin receptors don’t do their job properly, this can lead to very high blood sugar levels. This is where an increased responsiveness after taking omega-3’s could be very beneficial in helping to control blood sugar.
In addition to having a beneficial effect on blood sugar, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to have favorable health benefits in cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, immune function, and inflammation.
Other reported benefits include prevention and treatment of arthritis, treatment for asthma, PMS, allergies, water retention, and multiple sclerosis.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Explained
Omega-3 is a basic building block in the body for many functions in the body. In the omega-3 series you have 3 nutritionally important fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), all of which are polyunsaturated. EPA and DHA are the nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids produced by fish oils and found in fish. While ALA is the nutritionally important omega-3 acid found in plant oil sources. One thing to note is that of the omega-3 fatty acids, the FDA consider healthful are EPA and DHA.
To get more of the benefits of omega-3 in your diet through fish oils you can do so by adding cold-water fish to your diet several times per week. Again, these fish oils are high in EPA and DHA. Examples of fish with omega-3 would include: salmon, mackeral and sardines. Fish with the highest amounts in order measured by highest grams per serving, would be sardines, mackeral, salmon, swordfish, mussels, flounder, and tuna.
Another great source for getting omega-3 is flaxseed oil. This plant oil is high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. It has been found to have up to 6 times more omega-3 than fish oils.
There has been much debate and research on which omega-3 fatty acids are best and the potential risk outweighing the benefit when it comes to taking omega-3 found in fish oils. While the FDA considers EPA and DHA more healthful, on the other hand research has shown that high ALA omega-3 containing flaxseed oil, may be a better nutritional value than high-EPA fish oil.
Prior to using any of this dietary information, please consult with your physician.